Transmission Developers Inc. says it has started talks with two large Canadian power developers that are interested in moving power over TDI’s proposed $1.9-billion transmission line from Canada to New York.

The Toronto-based developer plans to build the 355-mile Champlain Hudson Power Express, a high-voltage, direct-current line with 1,000 MW of capacity from Quebec to New York City.

Donald Jessome, TDI’s president and CEO, did not name the renewable-energy projects for which his company is negotiating but described them as “projects already built or currently being built.”

TDI expects to begin construction of the merchant line in September 2011 and has issued a solicitation seeking an engineering/procurement/construction contractor. The company is accepting bids through mid-November with the intent of selecting a winner in December.

The New York Public Service Commission is holding hearings on the line through Nov. 9, with briefs due on March 16. The project also is under review by the Dept. of Energy for a presidential permit, a requirement because the line crosses the U.S.-Canadian border.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in early July approved the project’s application to negotiate bilateral, 30-year contracts with anchor tenants for 75% of capacity. The rest will be sold under an open-season process by an independent third party.

TDI, the lead investor of which is the Blackstone Group, seeks a Dept. of Energy loan guarantee. The generation may not help the region meet its aggressive renewable portfolio standard goals, since much of the output is likely to be from hydroelectricity. Most New England states do not count large hydroelectric output toward the requirements.